Expat Interview With Anna Scrivener

expat interview

Anna Scrivener is working in an industry that many British expats fall into: Recruitment. With many avenues, companies and sectors in Australia, she tells us of her experience, and what to expect of the job, in this exclusive expat interview.

The Move

I came to Australia as a backpacker. I always planned to do the two years, so one of the first things I did was get my farm work done. I worked on a tomato farm in Bowen, QLD. I didn’t think I’d be here nearly 4 years later though. I now live in Redfern, Sydney. I love the Inner West of Sydney and have lived in various places.

The Job Search

At home I worked in Higher Education and was supporting apprentices before I left, so it has been a big change for me. I did have experience of working in an office, general administration and liaising with different people, which are basic skills for lots of jobs. I brought some good references with me and was willing to be persistent, that’s the main thing I think.

When I got to Sydney I tried to apply for jobs that were similar to what I had been doing at home, but not having local experience was a barrier. You have to be flexible and realise that you might not be able to pick up your career here.

I looked on Seek initially and other online job boards. Gumtree is pretty good for those short-term jobs while you are travelling. Any networking you can do always helps too and you can start researching before you get here. One of the jobs I got in Sydney was due to an introduction from an old boss; my current job was a referral from a friend.

The Job

I am a Recruitment Consultant and specialise in the Early Childhood Industry, so finding Teachers and Educators for Day Care Centres and Preschools. I work for Hays Recruitment now. Other companies I have worked for in Sydney are CCInternational and The NSW Business Chamber.

The simplified version of my job responsibilities are: contacting companies looking for staff; sourcing candidates with the right skills and qualifications; understanding their requirements and then matching them up! Of course it’s not that simple and when you’re working with people nothing ever goes quite to plan, so it’s about being resilient and managing that.

As corny as it sounds, the best thing is helping someone get their dream job. I get to meet lots of really nice and interesting people. I enjoy helping them prepare for interviews so they can really shine – a lot of people are really nervous about the whole process. It’s also a job where you get a lot of autonomy and ownership over what you’re doing.

The Industry

I was worried that it would be very sales driven, however, it’s an industry that allows for sponsorship and where I had some transferable skills and qualifications. A lot of English and Irish people get into recruitment in Australia and we have all sorts of different backgrounds. In our office we outnumber the Aussies 2:1.

It’s very full-on and can be overwhelming, so I would advise anyone new to the industry to get a taster as a Recruitment Administrator or Recruitment Resourcer before becoming a Consultant. Research and pick your company well; there are lots of tricks of the trade and industry jargon, and getting formal training is invaluable. Reputation is everything in recruitment – yours and the companies – so make sure you are working for a company that you can believe in.

Want to work in recruitment in Australia? Email us at [email protected] to find a job for you!